Have you ever had a moment when reading or hearing scripture that makes you stop and say “Wait. What?”
I remember the first time I heard the scripture that talks about Satan fighting Michael the arch angel for Mose’s body.
“But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.””
Jude 1:9 ESV
This happened again recently when I heard someone reading Exodus 14:14-15.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14 NIV
How many times have I heard this verse when I needed to be reminded that some times I just need to be still while I wait for God to work in a situation, in my heart. I’ve read the Exodus story many times, but while this verse always seems to pop out and is often used as an encouragement in many ways, I don’t think I ever stopped to consider the very next verse.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” Exodus 14:15 NIV
Wait? How can the very next verse be encouraging them to move when in the very sentence before Moses is telling them to be still?
Another translation puts it this way:
13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Exodus 14:13-15 ESV
Wait. It says “silent” not “still.”
Being still and being silent can have two very different meanings. Yes being silent can mean being still in our spirit, but
how often do we think we need to be still, to wait, when God is actually calling us to be silent while we move forward?
How often does being still really mean being afraid to take a next step or feeling stuck? Are we paralyzed by fear and use the excuse that God is calling us to be still?
There is a vast difference in being still and being silent.
Too often I find myself struggling to remain silent when situations are frustrating me. I think most of us would rather voice our frustrations rather than be silent. At least that passes the time while we wait on God to do something about the situation that we are frustrated with.
But where does that leave our faith?
Faith is not passive. Faith is active. We can’t be still and move forward. But when we look at it as being silent? Well now that changes everything.
We can move one step at a time while also being silent. It’s only when we are silent that we can hear the Holy Spirit’s voice directing our steps and fighting for us. When we silence our complaining and take the next step He calls us to, our faith continues to grow as we move one-step-at-a-time toward the purpose He created us for and He uses it all for His glory.